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on September 2, 2011
I had so much fun reading this novel that I never wanted to put it down, and never did. The pacing pulled me along (one more chapter--then I'll eat. Another, then I'll go to bed.) Even if you didn't read Whistling In The Dark (but you should because it's great), Good Graces will pull you into the world of the intrepid O'Malley sisters in 1959 Milwaukee. The themes in the story are delicious and Kagen pokes at the ugly truths everyone conveniently hid back then. The O'Malley girls have spirit, loyalty, self-assurance, daring, and a completely engaging view of the world. These characters will stay with me for a long time. Kagen has a genius for presenting the world through Sally O'Malley's watchful eyes, past color and handicaps. And did I mention the twists? Great twists!! Don't even think twice before you read this wonderful novel.
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on September 2, 2011
If you thought Whistling in the Dark was fabulous, you are in for an even bigger and better treat with Good Graces. Although I was a little worried about picking up a sequel, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Kagen's timeless ability to tell a story through the eyes of a young narrator, witty humor, and beautiful imagery makes this sequel a "do not miss" hit of the season!

Although I am not a big online reviewer, I find myself compelled to write something everytime one of Lesley Kagen's books graces the "shelves." This time was no different!
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on June 29, 2015
Although Lesley Kagen provides the readers of "Good Graces" the background to her storyline in dibs and dabbles, once all the pieces come together the story provides a most unusual and interesting mystery. Two young sisters, bound by one's death bed promise to her father that she will always take care of her younger sister, and one who blames herself for the Father's death, struggle to grow up and find their way in a family full of secrets with a narcissist for a mother and a neighborhood full of wonderfully unique characters. A cat burglar is on the prowl and things aren't always what they seem. Kagen does an excellent job of tapping into the emotional fragility of these two young girls with very different ways of approaching their delicate trauma filled lives. I hope that Kagen returns to their story in some future books. She makes readers truly care about the sisters, their neighbors and friends, and want to know what their future holds beyond this amazing unforgettable summer. I highly recommend this book to all readers!
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VINE VOICEon December 14, 2011
This sequel to Whistling in the Dark shows us Sally and Troo O'Malley a year after we last met them. Both girls are still coping with their father's death and their close call the previous August, though in different ways -- Sally is quiet and overprotective of Troo, while Troo is sassy and constantly acting out.

In addition, the girls' mother has moved the family in with Detective Dave Rasmussen, who has recently been revealed to be Sally's biological father. Troo is furious, both because the information makes her and her beloved sister only half related, but because Dave is tramping over her daddy's memory.

This summer, the big mystery in the neighborhood is the cat burglar, who is stealing valuables from area families every week. Although there is much speculation, no one knows for certain who the culprit could be -- until Troo and Sally stumble upon the truth, with possibly deadly consequences.

While this sequel is an enjoyable read, there is quite a bit of reiteration from the previous book. Recapping some of the things that happened before is great for those who either didn't read the other book or else forgot the details, but Kagan tends to rehash to the point where it seems lazy, as though she is just trying to fill a second book without bothering to come up with a new story. This takes away from the quality of the book somewhat.
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on September 18, 2011
About two thirds of the way through, I found myself not wanting to have to leave the neighborhood. I started allowing myself only a few pages at a time, kind of like a reward. I didn't want it to end, I didn't want to leave Sally (I related more to her than Troo), I wanted to stay in 1960 Milwaukee! I hope I can go back with a third book.
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on July 10, 2015
The O'Malley sisters were developed in "Whistling in the Dark". In "Good Graces", the girls are a year older and just as active and likely to get into mischief. Unfortunately, the story is slow and not developed very well. About half way through, everything just falls apart. Around 300 pages Ms. Kagen seemed to decide the book was long enough, so she stopped. Seriously, she just brought it to an end.
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on August 15, 2015
Might I say again to Lesley Kagen that she is my number 1 author of all time and I only hope that ewhen I've finished all of the books that she has written so far, shenwill have more for me to read. I'm a reader but never have I enjoyed reading so much. I only hope that I might meet her one day to thank her personally for the pleasure she has given me with her books. Her writing is amazing and her subject matter incredibly enjoyable. Thank you so very much Lesley Kagen.
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on October 18, 2011
I am really puzzled by all of the high ratings for this book. I loved the first book "Whistling in the Dark" but this sequel seemed like a chore to read. The first half just dragged, and I was never invested in any of the concurrent stories that were happening, with the possible exception of Ethel, the caretaker. I read through to the end and it did pick up, if you can call children inadvertently causing an act of violence and then covering it up and then going merrily about their business a pick up of pace. I found it utterly unrealistic and lacking the charm that the first book displayed. I was really looking forward to this sequel, and was very disappointed. I did enjoy the accurate period details, and still found Sally endearing and Troo charming. This, of course, is just my opinion, and I am glad so many people received so much enjoyment from this book.
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on October 14, 2013
I absolutely loved Whistling in the Dark and this was a good follow up by Lesley Kagen. For anyone who read Whistling in the Dark and was left wondering how Sally and Troo's lives continued to change, this is a good sequel.
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on August 19, 2014
NAL Trade|May 1, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-451-23665-4
Story Description:
"To this day, my sister insists it was nothing more than the unrelenting heat that drove us to do what we did that summer, but that's just Troo yanking my chain the way she always has. Deep down, she knows as well as I do that it wasn't anything as mundane as the weather. It was the hand of the Almighty that shoved us off the straight and narrow path..."
Whistling in the Dark- a national bestseller-captivated readers with the story of ten-year-old Sally O'Malley and her sister, Troo, during Milwaukee's summer of 1959. Now it's one year later, and Sally, who made a deathbed promise to her daddy to keep Troo safe, is having a hard time honoring her vow. Her sister is growing increasingly rebellious amid a string of home burglaries, the escape from reform school of a nemesis, and the mysterious disappearance of an orphan-events that have the entire neighborhood on edge. And in that tense, hot summer, Sally will have to ground her flights of imagination, and barter her waning innocence, in order to sort the truths from the lies to protect her sister and herself.
My Review:
I totally fell in love with Sally and her younger sister, Troo. The story is told through the voice of Sally who is very smart, charming, witty, and full of integrity.
The summer of 1960 Milwaukee is the setting for this beautiful story and I was wishing I could somehow crawl through the pages of the book to be there and tag along with Sally and Troo.
Poor Sally works so hard to keep her father's deathbed request that she watch out for and protect, Troo. Sally takes on this responsibility with seriousness, almost to the detriment of her own pleasures in life. Sally is well-mannered where, Troo, is bossy, mouthy, and constantly stirring up some type of drama or trouble.
Good Graces is actually the sequal to ''Whistling in the Dark'' which I also recommend you read. However, each can be read as stand-alone novels as Kagen has made enough references from the first book that you wouldn't miss the message of this story. All-round a great read that I'll definitely be recommending to my book friends and family.
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